Earlier this week, "24" wrapped up its eighth and final season on Fox. The series starred Keifer Sutherland as a federal agent named Jack Bauer who is constantly called upon to defend America from unimaginable terrorists threats.
And while the series has been lauded for its high production values and innovative action sequences, there have been several occasions in which "24" leaves reality far, far behind. Here are a few of our favorite "WTF?!" moments from "24."
Thanks for The Memories
In the first season, "24" quickly established itself as an intense action show where anything could happen and characters could die at any time. The storyline had an additional impact for Jack Bauer through the constant danger to his wife Teri (Leslie Hope) and his daughter Kim (Elisha Cuthbert). The series was gritty and it seemed grounded in reality — despite some hilariously absurd ideas about how quickly traffic moves in Los Angeles.
However, near the end of the season, Teri believes that Kim has died in a car accident and collapses in shock. When she wakes up, Teri can no longer remember her own name.
There is a condition called dissociative amnesia, which can actually occur. But in this case, it seemed more like the writers needed an excuse to keep Teri from calling her husband for help. It was also the first sign that "24" could occasionally go off of the rails.
Kim VS. The Cougar
Kim Bauer found herself constantly on the run during the second season, sometimes beyond the point of plausibility. For example: while fleeing through a forest, Kim saw a cougar in the distance. She tried to avoid it, but ended up stepping into a trap just as the cougar started to take notice of her. After a few moments of false jeopardy, it eventually left her alone.
There's a reason why everyone always brings up the cougar: it really was that ridiculous.
It was so over-the-top, that it instantly replaced Teri's amnesia as the most ridiculous subplot to appear on "24." It was even more unbelievable than Kim becoming a CTU agent in the third season!
Heart to Heart
Back in the second season, Jack was tortured with an electronic device that caused him to develop serious chest pains; due to either an irregular heartbeat or possibly even a "heart attack, ack, ack, ack, ack, ack." You ought to know by now, that nothing can stop Jack from completing his mission. Over eight seasons, he's been poisoned, stabbed and shot numerous times. What's a little heart problem compared to that?
Well, pulling through a mission is one-thing. But single-handedly taking down several paid killers while suffering heart attack-like symptoms is another. In the picture above, Jack is literally breaking a man's neck and jumping off a wall while experiencing major heart palpitations.
After that, what else can you really throw at him?
The Fastest Boat To China
The fifth season of "24" is generally considered to be one of the best to date. It featured Jack facing off with his mentor, Christopher Henderson (Peter Weller), while also dealing with the murders of former President David Palmer (Dennis Haysbert), Michelle Dessler (Reiko Aylesworth) and Tony Almeida (Carlos Bernard) — who was later revealed to have survived. Jack also discovered that President Charles Logan (Gregory Itzin) was behind the day's events and brought down his presidency in a matter of hours.
But that's not the unbelievable part.
At the end of the day, Jack is suddenly kidnapped by Chinese agents — in retaliation for Jack's attack on their embassy in the previous season. He was spirited away from secret service agents and delivered to a boat already heading towards China… in 15 minutes!
To paraphrase Yakov Smirnoff: "In communist China, Take Out sends order for you!"
Nuke The Fridge
During the sixth season of "24," Jack Bauer and CTU suffered one of their biggest failures ever when they were unable to stop a nuclear device from going off in Los Angeles county. In one of the most stunning moments of the show, Valencia, California was obliterated by a suitcase nuke.
It was definitely shocking, but what puts it on this list is how little the nuke mattered after it blew up. There were occasional mentions of nuclear fallout and deaths from the blast, but for the most part, life in Los Angeles continued as if it was a completely normally day! A nuclear bomb went off in a populated area and it wasn't complete pandemonium in the state!
Oh, and Jack's brother and father both had a hand in the plot to smuggle the bomb into the country.
That's believable, right?
We're going to miss "24," but if aliens or cyborgs show up in the eventual "24" movie, we'll only pretend to be surprised.